Wakefield Council defends IT policy after Lib Dem brands it 'ridiculous' and claims it wastes taxpayers' money

Wakefield Council has defended its IT policy after one of its own elected members branded it "ridiculous".

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:35 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:36 am

Liberal Democrat councillor Tom Gordon said being forced to use a separate device for constituency work was costing taxpayer's money.

Coun Gordon, who represents Knottingley, said he "hated" the policy, which sees members only able to access council emails from a device issued by the local authority.

But the council said the move was necessary to protect residents' personal information.

Councillor Tom Gordon represents Knottingley and recently stood in the Batley and Spen by-election.
Councillor Tom Gordon represents Knottingley and recently stood in the Batley and Spen by-election.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Coun Gordon said: "Absolutely HATE Wakefield Councils ridiculous IT policy.

"Allowing me to access emails from my own device would: 1) save money (wouldn’t need equipment or second phone)

"2) save me hours of time (and sanity)

"3) save unnecessary travel to Wakefield deal with IT issues."

In response, the council's service director for technology, said that data security "is our top priority".

Darren Gill said: "Therefore, we have adopted a model of using council devices as they reduce the likelihood of any unauthorised access and improve the security of the information we hold, protecting the personal information of thousands of residents.

"This, and the standardisation of devices, also helps us to cost-effectively meet Cabinet Office and National Cyber Security Centre requirements.

Mr Gill added: "Whilst we understand that individuals having more control of their device can bring a degree of convenience, using council devices ensures that they are always patched to rectify any security vulnerabilities that may emerge, remain supported by the manufacturer and continue to work with other council systems."

Local Democracy Reporting Service